BOOK TITLE: Grist Mill Road
BOOK AUTHOR: Christopher J. Yates
PUBLISHER: Picador USA
January 9th 2018
GENRES: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller
CHECK IT OUT AT: Goodreads
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Grist Mill Road is a dark and twisty Rashomon-style narrative which is expertly plotted. The year is 1982, the setting an Edenic hamlet some 90 miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew and Hannah— are bound together by a single, terrible, and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves could never have predicted, the three meet again--with even more devastating results.
Here is a triple helix of a story structure, a sharp-edged love triangle complete with an Atonement style revelation. Character-driven, gorgeously written and wrenching, it exposes the poisonous resentments, sexual longings, and reservoirs of violence that roil just below the orderly surface of small town life.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Grist Mill Road is my favorite kind of suspense. Gritty, raw, honest. No fluff. No muss. Just dark musty suspense.
The book begins with Patrick and Matthew, two best friends growing up near state parks and wilderness, living a life filled with freedom and adventure. But circumstance and hormones happen, and Hannah enters their world. A senseless crime binds the three together while also tearing them apart.
Flash forward 26 years later. Unpredictably, Hannah and Patrick are married and living a seemingly decent life. But there are secrets both harbor from that fateful day, and secrets have a tendency to surface at the worst times.
Yates does a fantastic job of creating real characters full of depth and raw emotions. The plot is intricate and tricky, full of twists and turns and sudden drops. My only issue came in the last quarter of the book, when the story and the characters started to meander a bit. Yates does bring them all back, and the story ends the way it began — raw, gritty, and real.
Yates’s story reminds readers that the past we believe is true is only true to us. Knowing what is real is only true for each individual involved. When all the parts are put together, no one is fully blameless or totally at fault. And, in the end, redemption can only be granted, in cannot be earned.
Gripping, intricate, unsettling, and compelling. Grist Mill Road is a wonderful read.